5 Artists to Watch at Mysteryland USAArticle by: Marcus Dowling|@marcuskdowling
Fri April 17, 2015 | 00:00 AM
Over Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-24), Bethel Woods, NY – the one-time rock n' roll mecca of peace and love – gets transformed yet again into a modern-age pantheon of PLUR at the 2nd annual Mysteryland USA Festival. The dominant Dutch event returns to America this year with its emphasis again on unifying the culture and sounds of electronic music. To that end, here are 5 acts (of the roughly 100+ booked) that may be the ones to watch more closely than others in that regard.
Porter Robinson (Main Stage, Day One)
The North Carolina-born Porter Robinson’s Worlds was 2014’s ambient EDM-as-more-than-dance-music masterpiece. The DJ/producer toured the album significantly and created an entire audio-visual live experience that allowed for a new generation of electronic music aficionados to have their eyes and ears opened to the potential of what dance music could achieve on multiple levels. Armed with tracks like “Sad Machine” and “Sea of Voices” plus added technological capabilities makes Robinson an amazing sight to see live.
Bro Safari’s Animal House (The Boat, Day Two)
Atlanta bass-meister Bro Safari has specifically curated a unique experience that no one should miss. This is the one area of Mysteryland where someone could potentially get tossed off the boat and people would laugh before diving in to bring them back on board. Hip-hop culture’s energy in EDM has made itself apparent via trap, moombahton, twerk and bounce. Like the rap of yore, this is where punk rock and disco meet street culture and swag. Though you may not know who TJR, Gent and Jawns, ETC!ETC!, Doctor P, CRNKN and blog-hot rapper I Love Makonnen are, just know that this boat has the potential to be a ridiculous and fun time.
Damian Lazarus (Verboten Stage, Day One)
Self described as “Always rebelling, going places and [having] fun in the process,” Damian Lazarus’s performance at San Diego’s CRSSD Festival with his live act the Ancient Moons involved the producer getting onstage wearing wizard-like fashions. The blend of skill, style and a seemingly ever-present sense of good humor definitely should be witnessed in the same space where Woodstock-bound mystics traveled nearly a half-century ago.
Anna Lunoe (Webster Hall’s Girls and Boys Stage, Day Two)
Bass-loving Australian-born DJ/producer Anna Lunoe cites the eclectic group of “Sheila E, Spindarella, Kim Deal, Frente, Teena Marie, Ladybug from Digable Planets, Mya and all other innovative babes” as her creative influences. In an era where festival lineups are now scoured for evidence of gender equality for female performers, Lunoe’s multi-genre blend of inherently danceable grooves makes her an ideal star on the rise. If a younger generation of women attending a festival for the first time need a woman to watch behind the decks in pop-star awe, it’s Anna Lunoe.
Nicole Moudaber (Adam Beyer’s Drumcode Stage, Day Two)
Producer Nicole Moudaber specializes in the type of techno that’s deep, dark, heavy, and best meant to be heard in abandoned warehouses at 5 am. That being said, her popularity and appeal to more mainstream audiences is truly intriguing in the sense that hearing her sounds in the middle of a field seems out of place. However, you'll soon notice the opposite; when a DJ and producer with Moudaber’s veteran skill and vibe awareness gets behind the decks, space and place become irrelevant and time stands still. The kind of experience that transforms an underground dance newcomer into a lifelong fanatic can be found during this kind of set.